Mazembe and Inter go head to head on Saturday to decide who will lift the Club World Cup...
TP Mazembe are just one win away from conquering the world of club football. Victory over Italian champions Inter on Saturday evening will see Mazembe become the first club from Africa to win the Club World Cup.
In the quarter-finals the African champions beat Mexican outfit Pachuca 1-0 and then in the semi-finals they stunned Brazilian giants Internacional, winning 2-0.
Mazembe coach Lamine N’Diaye is proud of his players' performance in the competition and warned Inter that, "We’ve managed to rise to all the challenges that we’ve set ourselves. Now we’re faced with one last hurdle to overcome. You just never know."
Striker Dioko Kaluyituka echoed his coach's sentiments and enthused, "We’re all keen to show that we can mix it with the big boys, and perhaps even beat them. If we perform as best we can, Africa will be proud of us.”
History In The Making
Just as TP Mazembe are seeking a place in the history books, so are Italian and European champions Inter. The Beneamata have won four titles already this year - Serie A, Champions League, Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup - and if they win the Club World Cup on Saturday, then they will become the first Italian side to win five major trophies in a single year.
Inter came into the competition under immense pressure as they had fallen way off the pace in the Scudetto race and were also humiliated by Werder Bremen in Germany in the Champions League.
Club supremo Massimo Moratti had already indicated in a very public way at the start of the competition that coach Rafael Benitez needs to win it to prove himself, and the Spaniard bought himself some more time after the Nerazzurri's 3-0 victory over Seongnam Ilhwa in the semi-finals.
The former Valencia and Liverpool tactician is aware of the task at hand and stated, "I expect a high-level game and winning the trophy would give us the push we need for the second half of the season. We have worked like always and have analysed the opposition to prepare our players for the game.
"There is the right tension to face Mazembe. We know they have a strong squad and are a hard team to beat. They have made history and it was a surprise to see them eliminate the Brazilian side Internacional. Mazembe deserve to be in the final.
"For us it is a very important game - the last of this year - but we expect to win plenty more in 2011 and go far in all the competitions."
The Lubumbashi-based side have no major injury concerns.
Midfielder Wesley Sneijder is injured and will miss the final.